The National, Thursday July 19th, 2012
By JEFFREY ELAPA
TWO sitting members from the Southern Highlands were leading their respective open seats last night while William Powi continued to head primary counts for the regional seat.
Francis Awesa was in front in the Imbonggu seat race after the fifth elimination and member for Mendi Isaac Joseph maintained his superiority after the sixth elimination.
Awesa was ahead with 17,281 votes while Joseph was on 17,612.
Awesa was followed by Pila Niningi with 12,998, Steven Temo was third with 4,462 and Joseph Ingipa on 4,355 followed by T.H.E. party candidate Terry Gaso with 12,621, De Kewano on 12, 139, Michael Nali on 11,413 and Phillipus Masa Hapon on 9,828.
For the regional seat, Powi was leading comfortably with 69,919 followed by Joseph Kobol with 48,242, Vincent Mirupasi 20,210, Jerry Kiwai 17,677 and Sylvester Komba 17,677 after count 305.
For the Nipa-Kutubu open electorate, quality check was done yesterday and the elimination was expected to start today.
There were 109 ballot boxes from 16 candidates contesting the seat currently held by Philemon Embel, who is running second.
Meanwhile, returning officer John Harisol was replaced by Leo Vali.
But Vali declined to take up the post which forced provincial election official David Wakias to appoint Ambopa Ekai as the acting returning officer.
Counting for the electorates continues today.